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Child Dev. 2011 Nov-Dec;82(6):2021-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01644.x. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Gene-environment processes linking aggression, peer victimization, and the teacher-child relationship.

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Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Aggressive behavior in middle childhood is at least partly explained by genetic factors. Nevertheless, estimations of simple effects ignore possible gene-environment interactions (G × E) or gene-environment correlations (rGE) in the etiology of aggression. The present study aimed to simultaneously test for G × E and rGE processes between aggression, on the one hand, and peer victimization and the teacher-child relationship in school, on the other hand. The sample comprised 124 MZ pairs and 93 DZ pairs assessed in Grade 1 (mean age = 84.7 months). Consistent with rGE, children with a presumed genetic disposition for aggression were at an increased risk of peer victimization, whereas in line with G × E, a positive relationship with the teacher mitigated the genetically mediated expression of aggression.

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